Player profile

Rab Howell

Rab Howell

Birthdate: 12 October 1867
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Date of death: 21 July 1937
Other clubs: Ecclesfield, Rotherham Swifts (1888-90), Sheffield United (1890-98), Preston North End (1901-03)
Bought from: Sheffield United
Signed for LFC: £200, 06.04.1898
International debut: 09.03.1895 vs. Ireland
International caps: 2/1 (1/0 at LFC) - 08.04.1899
Liverpool debut: 16.04.1898
Last appearance: 01.01.1901
Contract expiry: June 1901
Win ratio: 43.28% W:29 D:12 L:26
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 3 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 59 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 67 / 0

Player profile

The first gypsy to play for Liverpool and represent England. Rabbi "Rab" Howell was born in a Romany caravan in Wincobank, Sheffield. The 5ft. 5ins. (165cm.) half-back made his debut for Liverpool in their final first division fixture of the 1897/98 season. He arrived after featuring in 24 out of Sheffield United's 30 League games who had finished their League programme as champions before Howell's departure after being runners-up the previous year. Howell missed only four League games in his full debut season as the Reds finished second to champions Aston Villa. He was also a first-team regular for most of the last season of the nineteenth century but played just twice more for the first team after that, midway through the 1900/01 championship season, not surprising given he was 33 years of age. He was so described by his Sheffield United team-mate Ernest Needham: "A gypsy by birth, perhaps owes some of his inexhaustible vitality to his lucky parentage. Certain it is that no man is more untiring. In his right-hand position this light-weight player always excels. He rejoices at meeting the best of forward wings, and should the outside man indulge in dribbling he sticks to him like a leech. Many duels have I seen between him and Spiksley [of Sheffield Wednesday], and generally Howell has come off best. Unfortunately he is a little too fond of keeping the ball too long, and loses many opportunities."

Howell made his England debut as a Sheffield United player scoring in a 9-0 win over Ireland on 9 March 1895, but had to wait four years for his second and final international against Scotland, then on Liverpool's books. Liverpool played in a benefit for Howell against Preston North End on 30 September 1904. He had retired a year earlier after breaking his leg, playing at Preston.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 59 8 0 0 0 67
1897-1898 1 0 0 0 0 1
1898-1899 30 6 0 0 0 36
1899-1900 26 2 0 0 0 28
1900-1901 2 0 0 0 0 2

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
7 Sheffield United
6 Stoke City
5 Blackburn Rovers
5 WBA
4 Burnley
4 Everton
4 Sunderland
4 Aston Villa
3 Newcastle United
3 Bury
3 Preston North End
3 Nottingham Forest
3 Derby
3 Wolves
3 Notts County
2 Bolton Wanderers
2 Sheffield Wednesday
2 Manchester City
1 Glossop North End
Total Competition
59 League
8 FA Cup

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 16.04.1898 Aston Villa Anfield League
50 18.11.1899 Aston Villa Anfield League
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